A push to change Colorado's prison culture and perceptions — one art piece at a time

The Prison Arts Initiative program, jointly run by the Colorado prison system and University of Denver, puts personal expression through visual and performing arts at the heart of the prisons' mission to become less punitive and more rehabilitative. With exhibits like "Chained Voices," featuring paintings by incarcerated people, the program aims to give hope to people by making them feel seen and valued as fully human. Formerly incarcerated artists say they valued not only the personal growth they experienced, but also the knowledge that their art could change public perceptions of the people in prison.

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